Eloise Wilkin: Illustrator of Little Golden Books

Most of us would have childhood memories of reading books illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. Wilkin started writing Little Golden Books in the 1940s and many of her books are still being re-released today. The illustrations of Eloise Wilkin depict an idyllic environment that is free of dangers and is inhabited by chubby, cherub-faced toddlers and children. These children are mainly of Caucasian appearance, though occasionally other ethnicities do appear. Curiously most children drawn by Wilkin have a closed mouth smile or contemplative expression—you almost never see their teeth. I suppose this was because Wilkin was not comfortable or did not believe she could convincingly draw other expressions. Regardless, I don’t think this lack of varied expression reduced the quality of her images. All of her images are either watercolors or coloured pencil drawings.

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book A Child's Garden of Verses 1957

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book A Child’s Garden of Verses (1957)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (1) 1957

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (1957) (1)

Eloise Margaret Wilkin was born (as Eloise Margaret Burns, March 30, 1904–October 4, 1987) in Rochester, NY. She completed an illustration course at the Rochester Institute of Technology and upon graduation, started up an art studio with her friend Joan Esley. However the art studio was unsuccessful and she struggled to find work in Rochester so she moved to New York City. Here Eloise did freelance work for many publishing companies and her first published book was The Shining Hour (1927) for the Century Co. Additionally, Wilkin also illustrated paper dolls for the businesses Playtime House, Jaymar and Samuel Gabriel and Sons.

Eloise Wilkin - Prayers for Children (Cover) 1952

Eloise Wilkin – Prayers for Children (Cover) (1952)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book My Goodnight Book 1981

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book My Goodnight Book (1981)

Eloise married Sidney Wilkin in 1935 and reduced the amount of illustrating work she did for the next nine years in order to raise their four children.  She signed a contract with Simon & Schuster in 1944 and went on to illustrate about fifty Little Golden Books. During this time she would use family, relations and neighbours as models for her images. The landscapes that appeared in Eloise’s illustrations were also real and drawn from the areas she lived or holidayed.

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (2) 1957

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (1957) (2)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (3) 1957

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (1957) (3)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Birds 1958 (1)

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Birds (1958) (1)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Birds 1958 (2)

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Birds (1958) (2)

Eloise Wilkin started designing dolls in 1961. Her first doll was was the Baby Dear doll produced by Vogue Dolls. Inc. which came in two sizes, 12 and 18 inches.

Image of "Baby Dear" doll created by Eloise Wilkin

Image of “Baby Dear” doll created by Eloise Wilkin

Eloise went on to create six other dolls.

Image of seven dolls all created by Eloise Wilkin

Image of seven dolls all created by Eloise Wilkin

The Baby Dear doll was released concurrently with the book Baby Dear, published by Little Golden Books, and appears in the book as the little girl’s doll. Another interesting thing about the Baby Dear book is that it was written by Esther Wilkin, Eloise’s sister. Additionally her daughter was the model for the mother and her grandson the model for the baby.

Eloise Wilkin - Baby Dear (Cover) 1962

Eloise Wilkin – Baby Dear (Cover) (1962)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Baby Dear 1962

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Baby Dear (1962)

In addition to books Eloise’s images also appeared on calendars, puzzles, the covers of Little Golden Records, china plates, ads, cards and in Child’s Life, Story Parade and Golden Magazine.

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book We Like Kindergarten 1965

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book We Like Kindergarten (1965)

Eloise Wilkin - My Kitten (Cover) 1954

Eloise Wilkin – My Kitten (Cover) (1954)

Eloise Wilkin - Songs of Praise (Cover) 1970

Eloise Wilkin – Songs of Praise (Cover) (1970)

Eloise continued to illustrate and design dolls right up until her death, from cancer in 1987.

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Prayers for Children 1952

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Prayers for Children (1952)

An extensive bibliography of Eloise Wilkin books can be found at the Loganberry Books website

To listen to a three-part interview with one of Eloise Wilkin’s daughters, Deborah Wilkin Springett go to the triviumpursuit website. The webpage also says you can order her biography about her mother, The Golden Years of Eloise Wilkin, however this page is eight years old, at this time, so it may no longer be available.

Marcel Marlier: Lifetime with Martine

Marcel Marlier started his artistic career with the Belgian Board of Education, illustrating a school reader called Michel et Nicole.  His work caught the eye of publishing director Pierre Servais, and in 1951 he joined Casterman.  He initially illustrated classic stories like Beauty and the Beast and the works of Alexandre Dumas.  Soon, he paired up with poet and author Gilbert Delahaye to create the first Martine story which came out in 1954.

Marcel Marlier – Martine est malade (1976)

Marcel Marlier – Martine est malade (1976)

Martine is the story of a sugar-sweet and proper girl and her many adventures together with her small dog Patapouf.  The stories are generally conservative and contain moral messages such as the value of honesty or environmental protection as in Martine se déguise or Martine protège la nature respectively.

Marcel Marlier – Debbie learns to dance (1972)

Marcel Marlier – Debbie learns to dance (1972)

The series eventually grew to include sixty titles; the first was Martine à la ferme and the final book was Martine et le prince mystérieux.  Martine was translated into sixty languages; she became known as Debbie in English, Anita in Galician, Ayşegül in Turkish, Tini in Malay and so on.  As time passed, Marlier created fresh illustrations for some of the books; Martine à la ferme was reissued with new art at least three times.

Marcel Marlier – Martine, drôles de fantômes! (2005)

Marcel Marlier – Martine drôles de fantômes! (2005)

Unfortunately, in 1997 Gilbert Delahaye passed away prematurely and Marlier’s son, Jean-Louis, took over as writer.  Marlier lived to an old age and continued to illustrate Martine until his passing in 2011.

Marcel Marlier – Martine à la fête des fleurs (1973)

Marcel Marlier – Martine à la fête des fleurs (1973)

All together there have been one-hundred-million Martine books sold—that’s a little more than Pippi Longstockings and somewhat less than Nancy Drew.  A great deal of Martine merchandise is produced today including special editions, comics, DVDs, websites and a video game in which she is called Emma.

Marcel Marlier – Jean-Lou et Sophie découvrent la mer (1969)

Marcel Marlier – Jean-Lou et Sophie découvrent la mer (1969)

Martine was not Marlier’s only project with Casterman.  Starting in 1969, he began both writing and illustrating his own series: Jean-Lou et Sophie.

Marcel Marlier – Martine petit rat de l'opéra (1972)

Marcel Marlier – Martine petit rat de l’opéra (1972)

Michael Jackson was apparently a great fan of Marcel Marlier and Martine.  Michael came across her image on a puzzle game while in Germany and then contacted the artist.  Marlier did not know who Michael was and bought some DVDs to familiarize himself with the pop-star.  Michael and Marlier met three times.  Michael was reported to have been extremely excited during his visit which initially surprised Marlier who nonetheless warmed to Michael’s personality.  Michael offered to purchase Marlier’s entire portfolio, but Marlier declined and instead supplied him with a sketch. (“Michael Jackson était comme un enfant”, Bernard Libert, SudPress.)

Marcel Marlier – Martine au zoo (1963)

Marcel Marlier – Martine au zoo (1963)

But not everyone loved Martine.  Her widespread influence on young impressionable readers together with her orthodox ladylike manner made her the subject of 1980s French feminist critique for whom she was labeled “docile”.  (“Marcel Marlier, l’illustrateur de Martine est mort”, Charlotte Pudlowski, 20 minutes.)

Marcel Marlier – J’adore mon frère (2007)

Marcel Marlier – J’adore mon frère (2007)

Most recently, Martine became a Web meme when a program went online to modify the title of the text, for example to “Martine – first space cake”, “Martine – desperate housewife” and so on.  Casterman did not feel the web site was in the spirit they envisioned for Martine and politely asked the site owners to take down their project and they obliged. (Alice Antheaume, “Martine s’offre une seconde jeunesse sur le Net”, 20 minutes.)

Marcel Marlier – Jean-Lou et Sophie en Bretagne (2002)

Marcel Marlier – Jean-Lou et Sophie en Bretagne (2002)

The Martine illustrations were created over a lifetime and by so talented an artist as Marcel Marlier that many of the works are really art, expressing social commentary about the time or seem to include deep and religious themes in the symbolism.  Even for those not so interested in children’s stories, Martine would be a joy to open.

Martine on Casterman

Martine has appeared once before on Pigtails in Paint here.

Madeleine L’Engle and A Wrinkle in Time

(Note: All the rest of this month and next will be partly devoted to my favorite girls from juvenile fiction, excepting Alice, who already has a monthly series devoted to her; I’d planned for this to begin in January but because of the computer problems I experienced and losing everything on my hard drive, I’m bumping it up to now. Sorry for the short notice.)

If you’re a fantasy lover like me then you’ve likely read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time books—or the Kairos series if you prefer—at some point. They’re classics of both fantasy fiction and juvenile fiction. The central theme of these books, particularly the first one, was the ongoing war between individuality and independence on one side and conformity and subordination on the other. Needless to say, these books are much needed these days and everyone who has special children in his or her life should pick up this series for them. This and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series are in my estimation must-reads for everyone from about age 10 on. The main protagonists of the series are the Murry children: Meg, Charles Wallace—and later in the series, their twin brothers Sandy and Dennys—as well as Meg’s friend Calvin O’Keefe. But it is Meg we must focus on today. Meg is the very epitome of a shy, awkward Plain Jane 13-year-old girl whom no one ever expects to make anything of herself. No one, that is, except her family. She wears glasses and deals with the perennial issues of adolescent girls everywhere: insecurity about her looks and her intelligence, sibling jealousy and rivalry, the pangs of first love. As the book progresses we learn that Meg is one member of an eccentric and remarkable family, and her role in the events that unfold is significantly more important than she ever dreamed.

Anyway, as with a lot of art and fiction, I am as much interested in the lives of the creators as the works themselves, and L’Engle is no exception. While L’Engle considered herself a Christian (Episcopalian to be exact), her viewpoint was quite liberal and would hardly be recognizable as such to most of the believers I know. As a child—the oldest of two daughters—raised by smart and creative parents (both were painters; her father was Post-Impressionist and art deco painter William L’Engle Jr., who also dabbled a bit in abstract expressionism, and her mother, Lucy Brown L’Engle, was also a painter in the Art Deco style), great things were expected of Madeleine, but like her character Meg, she was awkward, quiet and stifled by school. As a result her teachers at several private boarding schools considered her dull-witted. She inevitably proved them all wrong, becoming more famous than both of her parents by writing one of the most successful and original juvenile fiction series of all time. And no doubt the themes of these books stemmed directly from her experiences in the oppressive atmosphere of those private schools. God, I love an ironic happy ending.

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William L’Engle – Portait of Madeleine (1924)

William L'Engle - L'Engle Family (1924)

William L’Engle – L’Engle Family (1924)

The L’Engles were interested in Isadora Duncan’s modern free-form style of dance and both of their girls were enrolled in Duncan’s studio. Below you see the girls wearing the customary short white dresses that were typical of Duncan’s dancers. I will be doing a post on Isadora Duncan and her dance school soon.

Photographer Unknown – Family Photo of Madeleine (left) and Camille L’Engle, Truro, Massachusetts (1924)

Artist Unknown - 'A Wrinkle in Time' (cover)

Artist Unknown – ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (cover)

Artist Unknown - Meg Murry

Artist Unknown – Meg Murry

Emila Yusof - Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time'

Emila Yusof – Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

Meg being carried by Aunt Beast—many of the most empowered characters in the story are female or feminine in nature:

mc-the-lane - A Wrinkle in Time

mc-the-lane – A Wrinkle in Time

Wikipedia: Madeleine L’Engle

L’Engle Fine Arts: William and Lucy L’Engle Biographies

DeviantArt: mc-the-lane

Emila Yusof (Official Site)

Daniel Dos Santos

Firestarter redux?  This is the main character from Christopher Pike’s Alosha Trilogy,  and this image was used for the cover of The Shaktra.  This was not the first book in the series, but this is my favorite of all the covers.  Alosha is definitely one bad-ass lass.

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Daniel Dos Santos – Alosha

The Art of Dan Dos Santos (Official Site)

Comments:

From Rev. Benjamin M. Root IV on December 9, 2011
Glad you’re back up.
I’ve dragged-down several images from your previous posts, I can send them back to you if you are trying to rebuild your archives.

From pipstarr72 on December 9, 2011
Thank you. I’m experiencing mixed emotions over having to reset my computer to factory original. On the one hand I’m happy my laptop wasn’t a total loss; on the other I’m bummed about losing everything saved on it. I appreciate the offer but it won’t be necessary. Everything I’ve posted to date (and much more) is on a flash drive. The stuff I had on the hard drive of the laptop was primarily stuff I was getting ready to post here, most importantly the Jugend stuff and the essay. The images can be replaced (though it will take awhile); I’m much more sick over the loss of the essay, as it was about a month’s work and was quite detailed. I think I might write a shorter one now, just to get the main points across. I don’t know if I’m ready to put that much effort into it again. I also lost a lot of stuff not related to my blog, including, most heartbreakingly, about 50 gig of music, pretty much all the CDs I’d bought over the years. I got rid of the actual CDs last year to make some space in my house but saved all the music on my computer. Sigh. Well, at least there’s Spotify, but I had a lot of obscure stuff on here.

Alice Neel

Like many of the best artists, Alice Neel’s work went largely unappreciated during her own lifetime, although she did live to see an interest in her paintings take off in the last twenty years of her life.  A socialist and feminist well before the liberalization of the 1960s, Neel was a true American iconoclast and paid the price for it, not just in the art world but also by her first husband, a traditional Cuban who ran off to Cuba with their second daughter, Isabetta (their first daughter died in infancy) when the girl was two, and thereafter Neel only saw her daughter a few times a year as she was growing up.  Neel had two more children, both sons, from two other men, but the emotional impact of the loss of her first two children was profound and affected the tone and themes of her work.  As with John Costigan, whom I featured yesterday, Neel’s work–which consists mostly of frank portraits of friends and family—is best described as Expressionist.  Motherhood and childhood were common themes in her work.

alice-neel-abes-grandchildren-1964

Alice Neel – Abe’s Grandchildren (1964)

Alice Neel - Carmen and Judy (1972)

Alice Neel – Carmen and Judy (1972)

Alice Neel - Girl in Pajama Suit (1945)

Alice Neel – Girl in Pajama Suit (1945)

Alice Neel’s daughter-in-law Nancy Neel, wife of her son Richard, and their daughters (Alice’s grandchildren) Olivia and twins Alexandra and Antonia were frequent subjects of her art. Note: one of Neel’s other grandchildren, Elizabeth Neel, became an artist in her own right, and a much respected one. If you’re interested in reading an interview with her, go to this page. I couldn’t find any portraits of Elizabeth as a child painted by Neel herself, but I did find a copy of one done by collage artist Elizabeth Bisbing:

Elizabeth Bisbing - Elizabeth (After Alice Neel)

Elizabeth Bisbing – Elizabeth (After Alice Neel)

Alice Neel - Nancy and Olivia (1967)

Alice Neel – Nancy and Olivia (1967)

Alice Neel - Nancy and the Twins (1971)

Alice Neel – Nancy and the Twins (1971)

Alice Neel - Olivia (1975)

Alice Neel – Olivia (1975)

Alice Neel - Olivia (1980)

Alice Neel – Olivia (1980)

Alice Neel - Phyllis Rubin (1952)

Alice Neel – Phyllis Rubin (1952)

Alice Neel - Portrait of Girl in Blue Chair (1970)

Alice Neel – Portrait of Girl in Blue Chair (1970)

Alice Neel - Portrait of Young Girl

Alice Neel – Portrait of Young Girl

Alice Neel - Swedish Girls (1968)

Alice Neel – Swedish Girls (1968)

Alice Neel - Two Girls, Spanish Harlem (1954)

Alice Neel – Two Girls, Spanish Harlem (1954)

Alice Neel - Victoria and the Cat

Alice Neel – Victoria and the Cat

Alice Neel - The De Vegh Twins (1975)

Alice Neel – The De Vegh Twins (1975)

Neel painted feminist author Linda Nochlin (with daughter Daisy) in 1973. Nochlin was known for challenging the prevailing view that artistic genius was inborn and primarily male.

Alice Neel - Linda Nochlin and Daisy (1973)

Alice Neel – Linda Nochlin and Daisy (1973)

One of my favorite paintings by Neel is this portrait of her daughter Isabetta. What I find most compelling about this work is that, far from being meek and squeamish about posing naked, Isabetta stands with a firm and defiant stance, staring straight at the viewer and daring him or her to see her as she is.

Alice Neel - Isabetta (1934)

Alice Neel – Isabetta (1934)

This is the cover of Patricia Hills’s book on Neel. I don’t know the title of the painting on the cover, but I felt it was worth sharing.

Alice Neel - Alice Neel (cover; painting title unknown)

Alice Neel – Alice Neel (cover; painting title unknown)

Alice Neel - The Family (John Gruen, Jane Wilson, and Julia) (1970)

Alice Neel – The Family (John Gruen, Jane Wilson, and Julia) (1970)

Alice Neel - (Title Unknown)

Alice Neel – (Title Unknown)

Alice Neel (Official Site)

Wikipedia: Alice Neel

Elizabeth Bisbing (Official Site – more to come from her later)

A Counterculture Coloring Book

Here’s a wondrous little curiosity that would never be published today, given the ongoing modern obsession with stamping out every hint of child nudity in art.  Heaven forbid kids realize they have sex parts!  The Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book was published by Last Gasp, one of the original purveyors of underground comix, which fostered the careers of some of the most recognized comics illustrators and lowbrow and pop surrealist artists on the scene (Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Melinda Gebbie, Robert Williams, Mark Ryden, Gilbert Shelton, Rick Griffin and Vaughn Bode,  to name a few.)  The coloring book, while not exactly a high artistic achievement (much of it was clearly dashed off pretty quickly), is certainly a fascinating cultural artifact from a time when liberation of children from the stifling patriarchal idiocy, religious nonsense, sexual repression and social engineering of the 1950s made significant headway.

Then came the 1980s and the end of a wonderfully progressive era.  I have long contended that there were two things that killed the Sexual Revolution.  One was AIDS, which made its way into America (and the American consciousness) in the early ’80s.  The other was the child sexual abuse/exploitation scare, which started in the late ’70s but really took hold after the publication of the Meese Report on pornography in 1986. Although largely a bust in curtailing pornography on the whole, the Meese Commission’s one real success was heightening of public fears about child pornography. Coupled with the growth of the daytime talk show industry, which exploited sensational issues like child abuse to increase ratings, the moral panic over children and sex was all but assured by the 1990s and has never abated since.

At any rate, among the artists that contributed cartoons and illustrations for this coloring book are Kim Deitch, Julie Wood, Bill Griffith, Lary Welz and Trina Robbins.

kids-lib-c

Larry Welz – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (front cover)

Trina Robbins - Kids' Liberation Coloring Book (back cover)

Trina Robbins – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (back cover)

Willie Mendes - Kids' Liberation Coloring Book (1)

Willie Mendes – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (1)

Willie Mendes - Kids' Liberation Coloring Book (2)

Willie Mendes – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (2)

Larry Welz - Kids' Liberation Coloring Book (3)

Larry Welz – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (3)

Note the conceptual similarities between this next page and the Sun Tarot:

Larry Welz – Kids’ Liberation Coloring Book (4)

Eye on Alice: The Covers, Batch 2

For the third installment of ‘Eye on Alice,’ we continue our look at the covers for the book.  These are modern versions, and as you will see, they cut across the whole spectrum of artistic styles, from more traditional illustration to surrealism to modernism.

helen-oxenbury-the-comple

Helen Oxenbury – The Complete Alice (cover)

Jill Patterson - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (cover)

Jill Patterson – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (cover)

Mario Jodra - Alicia en el pais de las maravillas (cover)

Mario Jodra – Alicia en el pais de las maravillas (cover)

Nancy Wiley - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (cover)

Nancy Wiley – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (cover)

Alain Gauthier - Alice au pays des merveilles (cover)

Alain Gauthier – Alice au pays des merveilles (cover)

Cinzia Ratto - Alice in Wonderland (cover)

Cinzia Ratto – Alice in Wonderland (cover)

Emanuele Luzzati - Alice nel paese delle meraviglie (cover)

Emanuele Luzzati – Alice nel paese delle meraviglie (cover)

Gennadi Kalinovski - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (cover)

Gennadi Kalinovski – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (cover)

This looks more like bookmark than a cover:

Giovanni Robustelli - Alice in Wonderland

Giovanni Robustelli – Alice in Wonderland

Two different versions of the cover by Julia Gukova:

Julia Gukova - Alice in Wonderland (cover) (1)

Julia Gukova – Alice in Wonderland (cover) (1)

Julia Gukova - Alice im Wunderland (cover) (2)

Julia Gukova – Alice im Wunderland (cover) (2)

Rico Lins - Alice au pays des merveilles (cover)

Rico Lins – Alice au pays des merveilles (cover)

Vladislav Erko - Alice in Wonderland (cover)

Vladislav Erko – Alice in Wonderland (cover)

Wikipedia: Helen Oxenbury

Mario Jodra – Portfolio (official)

Nancy Wiley Studio & Gallery (official)

Wikipedia: Emanuele Luzzati

Giovanni Robustelli (official)

Julia Gukova (official)

Rico Lins Studio (official)

The Accidental Russophile: The Art of Vladislav Erko

Trendland: Vladislav Erko’s Playing Cards (Erko is a unique and amazing artist—I love these cards!)

Comments:

From aliceflynn on May 3, 2011
Very interesting post. As an Alice, I’ve always had an interest in these works, and especially as an illustrator, I am happy to see your collection of so many different interpretations. Alice in Wonderland, for me, seemed like a disturbing work of nightmare, of migraine hallucination, not a child’s innocent dream. Some of these illustrations have captured that disturbing edge.     Alice Flynn

From pipstarr72 on May 3, 2011
‘Alice’ is a mixed bag and people come away with a lot of different experiences from it. I think what makes it brilliant, aside from the sheer audacity of the imagination that went into it and the fact that it broke new ground for children’s literature by having no moral, is the fact that Carroll really captured the surrealistic, at times overwhelming, quality of being a child in an adult world. From the child’s eyes so many aspects of adult culture are strange, ridiculous, violent. If one never entirely relinquishes that child-like perspective, then it’s easy to see exactly how right children are. Carroll, I think, more than any other children’s author of the time, had that child-like perspective. He was appalled at what he saw around him, at how the culture treated children as little more than nuisances and little bundles of chaos that had to be violently shaped into perfect little Victorian ladies and gentleman. In some ways ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ is the first real indictment of child abuse, and the disturbing qualities it has mirror the abusive Victorian culture Carroll observed around him. I recommend ‘Lewis Carroll: A Biography’ by Morton Cohen; if you ever get the chance it’s well worth a read.

Eye on Alice: The Covers, Batch 1

This month’s edition of ‘Eye on Alice’ is dedicated to early covers for the book. The original artist was of course John Tenniel, who worked closely with Lewis Carroll to get the illustrations just right (not without some friction between the proud illustrator and the fastidious Carroll.) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of very few works–along with the Holy Bible and the works of Shakespeare–that has never been out of print since it’s original print run, and it is the only children’s book I know of that holds this distinction. During illustration’s golden age nearly every children’s book illustrator of reknown tackled the book, including Arthur Rackham, Bessie Pease Gutman, Jessie Wilcox Smith and Will Pogany.

A colorized version of John Tenniel’s cover:

john-tenniel-alices-adventures-in-wonderland-cover

John Tenniel – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (cover)

E. Gertrude Thomson, a friend of Carroll’s, did the cover for the first edition of The Nursery Alice, a version of the book Carroll created for younger children:

john-tenniel-the-nursery-alice-first-edition-cover

E. Gertrude Thomson – The Nursery Alice (first edition cover)

u-alice-in-wonderland-cover-21

Artist Unknown – Alice in Wonderland (cover)

arthur-rackham-alice-in-w

Arthur Rackham – Alice in Wonderland (cover)

mabel-lucie-attwell-alice-cover

Mabel Lucie Attwell – Alice in Wonderland (cover)

milo-winter-alice-in-wonderland-cover-1916

Milo Winter – Alice in Wonderland (cover) (1916)

mervyn-peake-alices-adventures-in-wonderland

Mervyn Peake – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

vojtc3aach-kubac5a1ta-alice-in-wonderland-cover-1960s

Vojtěch Kubašta – Alice in Wonderland (cover) (1960s)

tove-jansson-alice-in-won

Tove Jansson – Alice in Wonderland (cover)

One of the earliest books dedicated to the various artists and illustrators of Alice in Wonderland was this one, edited by Graham Ovenden, an accomplished artist in his own right, and published in 1972 (I’m not sure who designed the cover for this):

the-illustrators-of-alice-cover-academy-editions-1972

Artist unknown – The Illustrators of Alice (cover) (1972)

Wikipedia: John Tenniel

Wikipedia: E. Gertrude Thomson

Wikipedia: Arthur Rackham

Artpassions: Arthur Rackham

Wikipedia: Mabel Lucie Attwell

Wikipedia: Milo Winter

Mervyn Peake, Centenary Year, 2011

Wikipedia: Mervyn Peake

Wikipedia: Vojtěch Kubašta

Wikipedia: Tove Jansson

Moe to Love

Louis Moe, like fellow Scandinavian artist John Bauer, tended to focus on the fairy tales and mythologies of his native lands.  However, where Bauer’s work was ethereal and elegant, Moe’s characters were often whimsical and playful.  His favorite subjects were trolls and satyrs, including troll and satyr children, of which Moe supplied a humanity and pathos that undermined the traditional depictions of them as fierce and menacing creatures.  Also like Bauer, there’s a dearth of good examples of Moe’s work available on the Internet.  He is a largely unrecognized artistic genius who expertly balanced cartoon-like aspects with detail and design that was, in my estimation, every bit as good as that of better-known Golden Age illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Kay Neilsen.

louis-moe-havets-bog

Louis Moe – Havets Bog

louis-moe-land-og-hav

Louis Moe – Land og Hav

Even troll children are subject to selfishness and envy:

louis-moe-rig-trolds-barn-og-fattig-trolds-unger

Louis Moe – Rig trolds barn og fattig trolds unger

And naughtiness:

louis-moe-trollungen-fjerner-katten

Louis Moe – Trollungen fjerner katten

louis-moe-ugle-og-foraarsalfer

Louis Moe – Ugle og Foraarsalfer

louis-moe-storebror-danser-for-lillesc3b8ster

Louis Moe – Store Bror danser for lille Søster

louis-moe-en-lille-skarnstc3b8s1

Louis Moe – En lille Skarnstøs

louis-moe-mors-egen-unge-skal-i-selskap

Louis Moe – Mors egen unge skal i selskap

louis-moe-sneglepost

Louis Moe – Sneglepost

louis-moe-5

Louis Moe – Title Unknown